At Home Resources
We hope you have enjoyed the resources the Y team has compiled over the past few weeks. We are redirecting our focus on re-opening for you and as such will no longer be adding new updates.
For the latest updates on your Island Y’s staged re-opening click here.
Mental Wellness Monday
- New This Week
Working towards new goals can be a challenge, however only a challenge if you do not have the tools to get you there. This Monday we will spend some time listening to “Lizzie Velasquez” through her TED talk on “How do you define yourself?”.
Here you will learn about how a woman born with a rare disorder takes that negative things and turns them around to climb the ladder to meet her goals.
- Past Resources
Did you know that the most important component to a healthy mind, is through great sleep? This is a key element to our lifestyle that not all people will prioritize.
Now we live in a world where we can track our sleep quality so easily through phone apps, smart watches/bands and even through knowing our body well enough to know when you wake up rejuvenated or remain fatigued.
This Monday you can switch your fitness/step challenges for a ‘sleep challenge’ to support your mental health instead! A few FREE or Low-cost sleep aides to enhance your experience include but are not limited to sleep masks, a late evening relaxation routine with yoga/stretching, chamomile & lavender tea, bedtime Epson salt bath, etc.
Now pick your favourite option, set up your phone/wrist tracker and lets start our week off with a better sleep challenge! Share this challenge with your friends/family and see who has the best quality sleep and maybe you can borrow their successful bedtime routine!
Here are a few phone apps to choose from if interest:
- Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
- Fitbit Sleep Tracker
- Sleep Cycle-Sleep Tracker
- Sleep Watch by Bodymatter
- Autosleep Track, Sleep on watch
- Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker
Getting restarted in our community can be great for some and nerve wrecking for others. This is a great time to put yourself and your needs first to ensure you remain safe, healthy, and thriving.
TED talks that have recently been posted can help you do just that. These videos provide inspirational speakers providing new and invigorating perspectives on overall “wellness” and how to put others needs and judgements aside to give you the freedom to know what you need first.
While our economy moves to reopen gradually, it can ignite higher levels of stress and anxiety as we deal with this uncertainty. With this in mind, we want to help you manage your stress with at home exercises to help guide you through these stressful times, all while improving your mindful awareness, breathing and self control. The link below has two adult and two children focused audio exercises for you and/or your little loved ones to try and hopefully bring back your self control and ability to be in the present moment.
Happy Victoria Day! As we move to celebrate another year of Victoria, we also want to ensure you are safe with your loved ones. Unfortunately, the parade is cancelled this year, however this doesn’t mean that you and your family cannot come up with things to do with one another instead.
This Monday get your patio/backyard ready for the family to have a physical distanced barbeque (or your preferred meal!) and then pick a park near you. For instance you can head to “Sooke Hills Wilderness Park” or “ Mount Wells Park”, just to name a few, where you are your family can hike the trail, take in our beautiful scenery and overall be thankful that during a time like this we have so many safe and miraculous places to go and take in!
Happy Victoria Day to you and your family!
Sometimes starting off your week by taking your health into your own hands can be revitalizing. This Monday let’s utilize our minds to tap into our mental health. Through “Alison” online studies, we can explore an array of learning opportunities to master our own minds or even to help those around us. With this in mind, start by clicking the resource and reviewing the learning options – pick 1 -2 and achieve your completion certificates! Once complete, put what you learned into practice just like you would with any physical fitness program we provide you.
Stronger Minds by BEACON, in collaboration with Manulife, have created a free digital program for all Canadians. These programs are there to help with specific emotional well-being concerns brought on by stressors such as the COVID-19 virus. Here you can find an array of digital resources and a helpful team of psychologists to help you with anything you may need.
As our time of isolation continues to remain important for the health and wellbeing of everyone, it is important to acknowledge how this can affect our mental health.
Being at home for an extended period of time, potentially with your loved ones at all times, can make it hard to manage your own mental health while you are caring for others or worrying about others that cannot be with you. There are organization that are here for you to help manage your mental health during this time. CAMH is an organization that can provide you with tips and resources to manage your new or ongoing stress/anxiety; they also have the opportunity to pursue mental health education and courses. Taking the time to learn and put the knowledge in your own hands can be very empowering for your mental and physical health.
We encourage you this Monday to take your mental health into your own hands.
For those of us that find it hard to get going on a Monday, or those of us that just miss our “stretch fit” or relaxation classes at the Y, I have a little something just for you. A combination of mindfulness relaxation and stretch release is just what the doctor ordered! Enjoy this class and embrace this Monday start.
This Easter Monday we are going to get the creative juices flowing. We may not be able to see all our loved ones this Holiday Season and share in the traditional “Easter Egg Hunt” that parents/grandparents love to set up. However, you can create a virtual hunt instead!
Firstly, place the eggs around your house whether inside or outside. Secondly, take a photo of each room/location of the eggs. Lastly, send these photos to your loved ones to “hunt” the eggs virtually!
While we remain in a world that keeps most individuals in isolation for their own protection from the virus, we tend to turn to food for comfort. Think of all those times you go grocery shopping lately and you notice that shelves remain empty, and even for some of the oddest foods you’d never expect individuals to need bulk in. We turn to food to ‘make us feel better’, however studies show that depending on the type of food you put in your body it can take a toll on your mental health. We’ve included a few TED Talks regarding this vary issue that can provide you with a whole different perspective.
Now is the time to try and implement some of the materials you have learnt today into your daily life this week. See and even document how these changes have changed your brain chemistry and overall mental health.
Let’s start the week off right and get rolling with the peace of mind and body train. Learning strategies to reduce body pain associated with mental stress is top of mind for many people. To this end, why not try a guided 3-senses adventure walk.
Try it Tuesday
- New This Week
Let’s take our Tuesday time outdoors. Building on our brain health and enhancing our wellbeing, we need to try something new and push ourselves to think outside the box.
Now, grab your camera phone or camera, get your hikers/sneakers on and don’t forget the sunscreen! Pick a direction and start walking; as you walk I encourage you to take photos of all the interesting and new things you see. Take as many pictures as you can and enjoy your extra steps to get them!
Once you are back home, download your photos onto your computer and try to put words to your photos. See if you can create a short story based on what you see or feel in those photos – challenge your mind and get creative!
- Past Resources
As we move to nicer weather on this beautiful Island – our local economy can really utilize our help. A world-renowned tourist attraction here on the Island is awaiting your outdoor visit.
Butterfly Gardens provides you with a “Vibrant Jungle Experience”! This local business provides you with a safe physical distancing environment as they have put many new practices into place to protect you while you are there to enjoy everything they have to offer.
The Gardens have thousands of tropical butterflies, dart frogs, tortoises, flamingos and so much more! There is even a newer exhibit “The Insectarium” – worth the trip. Your local jungle awaits your visit!
This Tuesday we shall try something different and spend some more time this week working on our mental wellbeing. A strong mind leads to a strong body – we all need to start back to the basics.
Click the link below, make the video full screen to take in the full effect and spend some time relaxing your mind, working to improve your problem solving skills through this unique guided meditation experience.
We are on roughly week 9 now at home and lets face it we have been doing a lot of walking outside to keep ourselves mobile and full of Vitamin D and fresh air. Well this can lead to tight leg muscles and even hips that are feeling more stiff or tender then normal. It is important to take the time to stretch/mobilize these muscles and joints with the frequency of use.
This Tuesday we may be drained from all of that fabulous sun and physically distanced family visits we have had this past weekend. With that fitness may not be too high on our radar today, well with this in mind remember that the more you move and utilize both your brain and body the stronger you become in your active lifestyle! A healthy active lifestyle leads to the maintenance and prevention of many chronic health conditions; such as osteoporosis or arthritis.
Today try a short 20 minute Coordination workout – and if you are feeling up to is, try it twice! Have an outstanding Tuesday workout.
While watching the news can sometimes be tedious nowadays, watching a alternative show that ties living through this pandemic to real life stories of change can be even better. “Wild Ideas Worth Living” is a show that focuses on intense interviews for those who love adventure and the outdoors. This shows dives into how others around the world have taken their wild ideas and made them their own reality. Listen to the podcasts below and find you can be wildly inspired. On this link, scroll to the end to see “most recent episodes” and dive into someone else adventure.
Let’s try a new activity this Tuesday – a little creative drawing! This activity is said to help individuals immerse themselves in something bigger than them and forget your troubles.
All you need is a pencil or pencil crayons, paper, sunglasses, and your favourite place outside of your home. Now grab your tools, maybe a coffee/tea, and site out front or back of your house. While here, find something in your view that you have either been amazed by or never noticed before and begin to draw it out. Remember no need for perfection – unless this is your expertise – we are here to have fun and try something new.
Try it Tuesday is going to dive into spending more time trying out various stretching routines! Stretching is just as important as strength and cardiovascular training the human body. Stretching helps to relax the mind while increase flexibility in your body. We may not be able to reach out to our Y Stretch Therapists during this time, however we can help to provide various routines for you to take advantage of and improve your muscles flexibility and range of motion. Happy Stretching!
Working out the mind as well as the body is key to maintaining good health. When you are working out, you hear the trainers/instructors talk about all the muscles, range of motion and/or dos & don’ts of each movement. Wouldn’t it be nice to learn a little of that for yourself …
This Tuesday we are going to review “Muscles in Motion” through facebook or youtube. Find exercises you are most familiar with, learn about them in detail, practice great form and master the exercise. We also hope that you will try and learn about new exercises or those that you were not feeling safe/sure about performing in class! Keep your brain and body going strong.
This Tuesday we would like to challenge your balance. Keeping a strong core, maintaining good posture and improving your overall range of motion are key to maintaining good balance. Not everyone understands the importance of training the body for balance improvement, as most individuals are too focused on weight loss or weight management. We have provided a few Better Balance videos on behalf of “Silver Sneakers” a health and fitness program that is sponsored by medical professionals for its safe and effective material. These videos provide at home material to train your body for better balance, and in turn making all other daily activities easier over time.
Why not challenge yourself to keep active indoors at home? Just because you are at home doesn’t mean that you need traditional fitness equipment to keep going. There are some basic home materials you can utilize to get the job down, items such as: towels, cans, heavier jugs/bottles, kitchen/dinning room chair, and of course open space! YMCA-360 is a FREE nationwide online resource for various fitness classes available to members during this current outbreak – we are always here to keep you moving!
Active Older Adult link will provide you with a variety of exercise classes to choose from for you and your body’s needs. Ensure to substitute any of the above listed home equipment as needed!
Gentle Yoga allows you to try Yoga in the safety of your own home. You can utilize a dog leash or the strap off a duffle bag to substitute a ‘yoga strap’ – enjoy!
Lifting weights, gardening and even household chores can keep us active, but sometimes we need a change! Try incorporating a little bit of rhythm, music and functional fitness into your day by giving these videos a try!
- New This Week
Taking some information from the fitness experts of “ACE” online studies for fitness professionals, we come across “25 moves to help you stay on track – no matter where you find yourself”.
Using only your own body weight, and a chair as needed, these versatile moves can help you create your own ‘total body workout’ at home to meet your mental and physical needs. Pick at least 10 moves from the list provided and create your own circuit of 2-3 sets of 10-12 Reps of each move.
- Past Resources
Our workout for this Wednesday will be to challenge your core and balance through the practice of “Pilates”! Pilates is a great workout that can help you to focus on mindfulness movement while strengthening your core, improve joint mobility and posture.
The Central YMCA of London has provided two great videos for you to utilize and learn from. One for floor-based training and the other for training from a chair – choose your preferred option then grab a towel, thick book and a chair for balance if needed.
This Workout Wednesday comes to you from a Y in Houston, TX! While we remain in isolation, we want you to know that that Y, across the world, is here for you and your physical – mental – social wellbeing.
This new workout provides some creative balance and cross body training that are both safe and effective to complete. Now the music does start loud and then they get it under control so that you can hear the instructor much better. Either way it is a fun new routine to try and succeed at!
Last week we got to try something new and mildly relaxing, well this week we can go the opposite direction. We may not be able to be at the Y enjoying our favourite Zumba/Cardio Dance/Cardio Fit classes that get our heart rates up and have us bouncing around with our favourite instructors, however this does not mean that you have to miss out on improving that cardiovascular system!
For our workout this Wednesday, we will combine Dance and Fit together. Now, as always take breaks as frequent as needed, so your own level and adapt to your body’s range of motion or stamina needs.
For this Wednesday, lets try something a little different. We all know pilates and yoga as two separate classes that work on both bore strength and overall balance. Well there is a new combination of the two call Centergy, in this class you are moving through the movements at a steady pace, keeping your heart rate at a fat burning level and challenging your body’s balance through patterns that combine the two types of classes.
This class listed is based off of utilizing the floor, however, always keep in mind you can complete anything from a chair or while remaining in a standing position. Adapt the movements to your body’s needs and never push yourself too far, you want to feel good in your movements, not feel pain or excessive fatigue.
This Workout Wednesday we are going to take our mission outdoors. We could all be in the mood for a little vitamin D and friendly faces, even the furry ones! Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park remains open and is awaiting your visit. Here at this seashore park you will take in a diverse landscape of woodlands, freshwater, salt march, sandy beach and rocky headlands. From casual walks on the beach, to birdwatching on the trail, or even seeing a waterfall within the trail – there is an abundance of beauty to be seen and embraced.
Now get dressed, fill up your water bottle, and get in your car – its time to get in those steps!
For this week, our Healthy Living team has created a brand-new set of exercise routines at the bottom of this page. We encourage you to review any program of your choice that you believe will meet your needs for this week and moving forward!
Why not get creative in how you workout this Wednesday! You may have heard about “circuit” or “cross” training from members you know or research you have found. This style of exercise may have seemed like too much for you and the fear of trying it outweighed the curiosity to dive in an try it.
Well today we are going to dive in and try it! We have included a training session that allows for 3 different training levels so that you are able to take part to your own capabilities without the fear or injury or overworking your body. Why not try something different for you and your body – change can be great!
This Wednesday’s workout session will have more of a Y Personal Coaching touch on it. The routine we will be providing you with today is a little to no equipment “home interval express” class. On behalf of those Healthy Living program staff we have created this workout for you, enjoy!
Some individuals may be finding that the video fitness class material is just not for them and they are looking for something with more detail. With this in mind, we would like to inform you that alongside this page you will find our Healthy Living program materials. On this page you can find safe at home exercise programs designed for different health needs that you are welcome to review and try on your own time.
If these are still not for you, I encourage you to utilize this resource from Health Line that has both basic exercises with no equipment and variations for stretching to improve joint mobility. The link below provides you with photos and descriptions for each exercise so that you both gain knowledge into what you are completing as well as working out!
We have been working out the body for some time now with various training videos or workouts provided to you. However, it is equally important to workout the brain to keep all our senses sharp! There are a wide variety of free apps for your apple or android device, a few include Elevate or Peak.
Elevate is a free brain training app that helps to improve your focus, processing speed, memory & math skills. This app has the added benefit of a personalized training program that adjusts over time to maximize your results.
Peak has been said to be one of the highest rated brain training apps. It features many unique games that have been developed by neuroscientists to challenge your memory, attention, problem solving skills, mental agility and more.
Working out body AND mind are key to improving our overall well-being. Working out at home can be foreign and scary for some of us. However, everything you need to get creative with a home-based functional workout is already at your fingertips; look for items such as hand towel, kitchen/dining room chair, canned beans, rice, pillowcase, computer screen & open space. Check-out these intellectual and physical workouts to keep your body and mind sharp as one.
- New This Week
This Throwback Thursday we take a step back in our dance moves – trying some old-school moves that are knee-friendly, low-impact and easy to follow choreography.
Put your fitbit on (or equivalent technology) and put this video on your tablet/computer or smart tv and enjoy a little old-school with your cardio workout today!
- Past Resources
Taking a step back in Victoria BC’s history we come across “Helmcken House” – the oldest house in BC still standing at is original location. This major historical structure is part of the overall Royal BC Museum complex and definitely worth the extra steps to walk and see it.
The House was built by Dr John Sebastian Helmcken, the first doctor in Victoria and a surgeon with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The had built the house in 1852 when he married the Governor’s daughter. IT was originally a 3-bedroom log cabin, the house was then expanded as both the prosperity and size of their family grew. Helmcken had gone on to be a statesman and helped negotiate the entry of BC as a Province into Canada. The house is said to still contain the original furnishings and some displays including his medical kits.
Time to take in a little Victoria History!
It is always fun to take a step back in time with some classic music, and in turn see what the new age generation has done to add their own flare to it. On behalf of Lip Sync Battle and John Krasinski – enjoy a good laugh with Tina Turner and ensure to watch until the end this Thursday!
This Throwback Thursday will combine a little mental wellness into your activity. We may not be able to travel the world right now and see the beauty in other parts of the world, however, this does not mean that you are limited at home either. We have some classically beautiful places around the world that have been there and will always be there throughout our lifetime.
This Thursday we will look to complete “Virtual Meditation Walks” through some classic parks/places across the country. So keep hydrated, get comfortable and start your mind-body centering now…
Heading out to a museum at this time may not be available near you – however this doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the art, culture and beauty that a museum can provide. There are many museums around the world who are currently offering a “virtual tour” for you to enjoy. From the ‘National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul’ to ‘Van Gogh, Amsterdam’ and even as far as Germany for the ‘Car Lovers-Mercedes-Benz’ tour. So many great options to choose from, and no plane fare to worry about! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
This Thursday lets take a step back in time and enjoy some of the most outstanding Shakespeare performances available to you for FREE throughout this summer season on behalf of The Stratford Festival Theatre.
The productions are said to be show during a single live performance and will begin on Shakespeare’s Birthday April 23rd! With this Throwback Thursday it can be helpful to re-examine the greatest works of literature beginning with a play that Shakespeare wrote, “King Lear”, that could have been written while under quarantine from the plague.
Let the plays begin…
For this Thursday we are going to dive into some oldies music for our workout encouragement! Finding that right playlist can take a simple workout and make it that much better.
We will provide you with your workout moves to complete here, and you can choose a playlist from one provided or even have fun with your own fantastic creation and have it ready on your phone for your workout.
- Warm Up: Walking outside for 10 minutes (pick a beautiful circle route)
- Workout Moves: Wall/Floor Push ups – Squats – Calf Raises – Half Jumping Jacks – Chair/Floor leg Raises – Bicep Curls – Shoulder Press – Glute Bridge
- Time: Complete each move for one full set of 10 – 15, then follow the whole circuit and repeat as many times as you feel strong enough or the music keeps you going!
While growing up our grandparents had always taught us a special board/card game that they were masters at and wanted to share their passion with us! For this Thursday, lets go back and share this passion with our loved ones. Let’s start our family time earlier this week, we have provided you with 3 virtual games you are able to play on your own and with your loved ones. Now who says you can’t still school your grandkids from a distance – happy gaming!
This Throwback Thursday goes back to grade school for some of us, or hearing stories from loved ones. Back in grade school they used to teach self-defense to help the ladies learn to protect themselves. We would get to kick and punch a big “Velcro Person”! This would leave us cut, scratched and bruised, but it was always so much fun getting to go beat up this Velcro person in any way we saw fit to protect ourselves.
Today’s challenge isn’t to dress up your partner/roommate as a Velcro Person and beat them up, but rather to learn and/or practice boxing and self defense on your own. We have been able to provide you with two videos for different stages in your practice, remember always go at your own pace and within your own range of motion (this includes from a chair if needed).
It’s time for a little throwback fun! Instead of fitness let’s combine a bit of Family Friday and Throwback Thursday where you share your time with your loved ones while watching the Disney originals. Movies such as Dumbo, Bambi, Snow White and many more! I am sure that your nieces/nephews and/or grandchildren have not really sat down to enjoy the originals of the best Disney movies. So poor some popcorn (or your favorite movie snack), get your family set up and find your favorites and just press play. For those who are not directly with their family, set up your movie day/night with them by phoning them and setting the same time to watch and share your enjoyment during and after it is done!
It’s time to Disney, now go and dig out your old copies or you can watch them for free on Disney +.
Everything old is new again! Take a dip into the archives have a little fun with some old school fitness. The outfits are not a requirement of course, but if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Aging Well Videos to watch a few amazing stories of other older adults and what they have done and/or over come to be who they are now.
Staying Connected to review everything from staying connected to your community, giving back and leaving a legacy and so much more!
- New This Week
On this Friday with your family/friends lets have a little bit of fun celebrating our time together and make a PIZZA!
Grab each of your favourite toppings, then follow this home-made recipe for the best pizza with a little home-made touch! Take that pizza outdoors and enjoy the sunset or even hunker down in the den and watch a shared movie – you choose and just enjoy spending time with one another.
- Past Resources
For this Friday why not take a drive and see a movie with the family! University of Victoria’s “Legacy Drive In” in now open and you can buy tickets online for future shows.
If you haven’t had the chance to take part in a drive in movie in a while, this is a great family outing where you can keep within your family bubble, bring your own food and veg out in your vehicles with our beautiful weather!
Check out current and future movies here:
Moving forward towards our summer season we want to ensure our gardens are just perfect! Why not take this Friday to spend time with your family in the garden.
Teach your grandchildren and/or nieces/nephews how to grow and maintain a vegetable or fruit garden, even teach them how to tell the difference between a plant and a week – let them go to town weeding for you! The more weeding they do, the easier it is on your knees and they have a blast helping you.
Always a great opportunity to share your passion and trade secrets in your garden.
This Family Friday some of our family members may have been able to go back to work and in turn your grand children and/or nieces/nephews are free and up for your physically distanced visits. This Friday it may be nice to take a trip down memory lane and set up a picnic in the park or somewhere safely outdoors with your loved ones.
Now make sure to bring extra blankets so that you can all remain safely distanced and still enjoy your time together. A picnic can be simple and yet the perfect solution to spending quality time with your family and of course enjoying our beautiful spring weather.
Family learning together can be a great joy, as you share your knowledge and secrets in the kitchen with your grandchildren/niece/nephew. For this Friday dig out your secret recipe book, find one that you would love to pass on and then book a virtual call with your loved ones.
Make sure to let them know the ingredients, supplies and space needed for your treasured delight prior to the call. Once in the call, teach them step by step as they follow your lead over camera and you both get to have a delicious treat ready to savour at the end! It’s never too early to pass on your secrets …
For this Friday, let’s prepare for our celebration of Mother’s Day this coming Sunday! Remember, Moms enjoy most when you are creative and give them something homemade. So with this is mind, why not celebrate your Mom by creating some fantastic foods for her to enjoy with every meal of the day. Take these simple recipes, substitute any ingredient you may need and just have fun baking with your loved ones – oh yes it is so much more fun sharing the love!
Now that you have had some time to get used to online resources to see/talk to your loved ones (Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc.) lets use those resources to have a game night together.
Get your camera working and lets play Charades! You don’t need to be next to one another for this game to be fun and entertaining for all on a Friday night, all you need is: your computer/tablet/phone, favourite drink and snack, a list of items to act out and of course some family and friends on camera!
Now go and practice your acting skills – have a blast sharing this with your loved ones.
This Friday let’s challenge you and your family’s creativity skills. A fellow Y staff member from a Y within Canada had shared a funny story they created to ease the moment and increase creativity during this time.
Just seen a news report about the stresses and strains of self isolation. It reported that people are going crazy from being in lock down! It was strange, actually, because I had just been talking about this with the microwave and toaster, and all of us agreed that things are getting bad. I didn’t mention anything to the washing machine as she always has to put a different spin on everything, and certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant. In the end the iron calmed me down. She said everything will be fine, which surprised me because she’s usually the first one to apply unnecessary pressure and get steamed up over nothing !!! I think she might have been sneaking off to the medicine cabinet…. – L.C
Now it is your turn to come up with your own fun story to share with one another. Think of some of the craziest things you have done, talked to or wanted to talk to and put pen to paper – we know there are some unique stories to tell and fun family meals to share them over!
Whether it’s your relatives or your family you grew into, why not take this Friday to re-connect in an active way? Take time to keep your family active together with a family friendly workout. This workout requires no equipment and is good for both children and adults. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it!
Some people see a family as those that are related by blood, others see it as the ones you grow into, and there are many who know that their ‘fur-babies’ are their family and even for some their version of having children. Let’s take this Friday to spend some extra time working out with our fur-babies, keeping them a part of our new fitness challenge! Now if you have fur-babies like most of us that would rather lick your face, knock you over or place their toys strategically around your workout station to ensure you pay attention to them instead of working out – well let’s give you a few workouts to complete with them instead.
Given the current reality of self-isolation that is required to keep our communities safe, connecting in person with our families is challenging. Why not try a game of window tic-tac-toe, or an online board game?
- New This Week
Thank you to all our Volunteers from all the Y’s across Canada. We miss you and hope to see you again soon – we know our Y wouldn’t be the safe and welcoming place that it is without you being a part of it.
Share Your Y StoryAs you may know, the Y is a non-profit charitable organization that strives to build healthy communities. From infants to older adults, the Y can have a positive impact on the lives of its members. How has the Y helped you? We want to hear your Y story. It may be a story of a long term goal that you were able to achieve, or maybe a special moment you had at the Y. Help us share some inspiring stories with our community!
- Past Resources
Today we hear from 2 Volunteers from the YMCA of Foothills as part of a “togetherness” project. Here you will hear them tell you about their experience with the unknown and coming into a safe and open community where they could learn, share and give back to their Y community through fitness and health!
Taking their words to heart helps us to know that this will be a major part of our Island Y moving forward. The Y will love to have more volunteers in their communities who can give their time and spend with others in a new health and fitness environment. Our Ys pride themselves on giving you the best experience for your time with us and Volunteers are a crucial part of this experience. As who knows more about sharing their passion in health and wellness more then a Y member looking to give back!
YMCA of Greater Toronto highlights the importance of giving back and how contributing to the Y as a Volunteer can not only benefit your health and wellbeing, but rather you get to impact those around you and make their lives that much better by being a part of your contribution. As we move forward in a hard time for our economy, Volunteering is an outstanding way to give back to the community that has been there for you throughout these troubling times. Volunteering can help get your out of the house, learn something new and share your passion for health and wellness with others!
At the Crenshaw Family YMCA in LA, Olympic Gold medalist and Y youth participant Allyson Felix utilizes her running career to gain interest with new youth through a hands-on experiment.
Watch her Y Story.
YMCAs of Cambridge – Kitchener – Waterloo, ON have comprised several story’s from their members and volunteers. These story’s get you in the mind of each individual and how they go to where they are and what they do. We encourage you to watch these inspirational stories, and in turn you may just feel uplifted/motivated to share your story with us here on the Island.
YMCA Buffalo Niagara shares their story of Bob! Aside from being a supportive Grandpa himself, Bob has so much more to give and shares his love of children by volunteering with their Y in various childcare programs. Having Bob be a part of their Y has been the light of their lives and in turn brightened Bob’s life – Here is his story…
This week we hear from Tanya on what the Y means to her!
The Y is special to me as it is an environment that has fueled my growth. I have been very fortunate to have multiple opportunities that have allowed me to grow personally and professionally. My time with the Y has been much more than I could’ve ever imagined! 3 years ago, I was starting my Y journey with the Children’s Recreation department at the Westhills branch. Through this, I heard about an opportunity that could assist me in achieving my goals of becoming a physiotherapist. Currently, I am wrapping up my third year of the Bachelor of Sport and Fitness Leadership with a major in Exercise and Wellness at Camosun College. I was fortunate enough to be learning from Jasmine and all of the staff that make up the Healthy Living team! As I am finishing my internship, I have had some time to reflect, not only have I learned how to be a group fitness instructor and a personal coach, I have learned much more than I ever could have thought and have met some super inspiring members! I cannot even begin to express my gratitude towards the members that I see and work with and everyone who has been involved in my learning experience! I have learned a lot about fitness and the community that the YMCA really strives for. I hope that everyone is staying healthy and I am looking forward to seeing everyone again and getting back to what we all really love!
Back in 2017 when Healthy Living took off for Vancouver Island YMCA-YWCA, we had only a handful of members in each of our programs. A lovely member in our Breathe Fit class, G.K., was living with various health conditions and looking to improve her overall health and well being. She loves learning new things about her body in motion and making her everyday life that much easier to work through. G.K. is one of our most sociable members, bringing light to everyone’s day!
G.K.’s health had taken a change this past year that took her away from the Y for some time and our Healthy Living team had made sure to keep her a priority in our lives. G.K had loved continuously being a part of our community and having both the Healthy Living team and fellow members there for her however she needed it.
Now, G.K is a survivor pushing her way back through fitness at the Y and sharing her stories with everyone. As she says “It takes a village to go through drastic health changes and I am thankful for everyone at the Y keeping me motivated, loved and cared for no matter where I was!”
Evelyn started with the Y in November 2018 as part of our Choose to Move program. She was living with a lot of pain due to Osteoporosis, awaiting 2nd knee replacement, arthritis in her lumbar spine and chronic asthma. She was ready to get herself moving again and saw our poster at her church, and as she says, “it was her first sign to make a change for her”. She has exceeded her own expectations and moved from Choose to Move into our ‘Breathe-Fit’ program here at Eagle Creek. Evelyn has this energy that she brings to the group to keep everyone laughing, moving and just enjoying themselves – you would never know the pain she may be feeling when she is in our classes.
Evelyn had a small set back in early march when she needed to get cortisol shots in her lumbar spine to help with her pain, her doctor had told her she will not be able to be active or use her body the same way so she should look into getting a cane to help her and exercise less. Evelyn told me that she told her doctor this: “I have come so far in my health as I am no longer needing my puffers, I have no knee pain and I am only three months post surgery, you are asking me to stop something I love which is moving. I will be honest with you; you do not know my trainer and what she is capable of to get me where I need to go. I have faith in her like she has faith in me to know I will keep getting stronger, feel better and continue to push myself to no longer ‘just get by’ but rather thrive in how I feel and what I am capable of.”
To this day Evelyn attends 2-4 classes a week, receives a stretching program from Y Personal Coach Scott Holland, has recruited a handful of members to come into these classes with her and just loves what she can do – she always knows we are here to help her in anyway we can!
From a Recover Evolve Cancer Fitness (REC Fit) program participant
“I heard about REC Fit at least a year ago but didn’t feel ready to commit. I finally took the plunge though and met up with Jasmine in April 2019. I was immediately hooked and have been attending every week since. The Eagle Creek Y staff are so friendly, and the Healthy Living instructors are fantastic leaders: empathetic and knowledgeable, with the most infectious laugh! I’m also enjoying getting to know Vince, the new instructor, and especially value his flexibility in providing adaptations for each of us. How fortunate we are to be able to work out in a small group — sometimes even 1-1 — tailored to our specific health challenges. It’s easy in this setting to form bonds with the other participants and to feel empowered about our capabilities. Thank you for offering this program!”
- New This Week
This Sunday take the time to try and deepen your yoga practice. Dedicate some time to support your bodies mental and physical needs through an adaptive yoga practice on or off the mat. This chair based yoga class can also be done without the chair as you see fit.
Grab your yoga blocks (or books), small blanket, chair and mat – don’t forget to find a quiet place in your home/yard and then press play!
- Past Resources
After a week of virtual exercise classes and outdoor walks we can all use a little extra stretching in our routines to relieve our body’s of added tension and discomfort.
For today we encourage you to spend the next 20 minutes relaxing your body with a full body stretch routine – below you will find alternate levels to choose from.
Some massage parlors will be open by now, and if you feel safe to be there it could be a necessary relaxing treat for yourself.
If heading into that environment is not within your grasp at this time, then it is time to treat yourself at home. You could even have your partner join in the relaxation.
Here is how you can create a relaxing environment and treat yourself:
- Bubble Bath: add candles, calming music and even a good book
- Mani/Pedi day: soak your hands/feet adding in some Epson salts, gather your foot files and favourite lotion for after
- Refreshing Face Peel/Masks
- Hand and Scalp Massages
Keeping with the theme of maintain a mental and physical balance for this past week, let’s finish off our weekend with a Y Thrive FLOW video. Here is a 45-min yoga workout that combines a variety of standing and floor based movements. Find your center and improve your balance one movement at a time.
This Sunday we encourage you to spend some time looking into your mind-body connection. The Y of Twin Cities has created a short ‘Guided Meditation’ video for you. Within this time of practicing compassion, this is a perfect way to welcome peace, balance and joy into your life.
Now is the time to let go of the negativity, stress, anxiety and whatever else may be holding you back from embracing your life – and in turn find ways to love yourself and others around you.
“There’s JOY in her laughter, FAITH in her soul & LOVE in her heart” – American Greetings
To all the MOMs from us here at the Y:
We know that the word Mom is such a special word, the loveliest we have ever heard. A toast to you and all that you have done to raise such fine individuals that you have shared your wisdom with and been there for through thick and thin – You are so special and there simply is no one else like you! We wish you the a Very Happy Mother’s Day and all the social distance hugs you can get!
Sometimes getting through the day and being productive can feel like so much work, especially for those in any kind of pain. One of our local Chiropractors has taken it upon herself to close her doors for our protection and offer online therapy through her Facebook account to keep everyone going. She works with individuals whom have varying conditions and different levels of pain that are in need of a solution for their discomfort.
We encourage you to try some of her videos, read through here advice and who knows starting this Sunday your days might just get that much easier! Time to feel your body release.
Let’s start our week off right, keeping our mind and body relieved and relaxed. I encourage everyone to take advantage of our “Virtual YMCA” in the comfort of your own home. Ensure to set up your space/room to set the mood and enhance your mind-body relaxation.
Let’s remove all furniture, set up a mat/chair, leave all extra equipment on the floor near you. Items such as a strap and yoga block, or your home equipment versions such as bag strap and small rubber made container. Light some candles, close the shades and turn off or dim the lights. Keep the computer/tablet near by so that you can follow the directions from your instructor.
Time to embrace your mind-body connection.
It’s officially Sunday, the day of rest! Let’s take the time to rest our muscles, relax our mind and enjoy the serenity of music by others. In a time of crisis, many people have found a way to embrace their sound in the digital world while maintaining their social distance and still bringing their performances right to your door! Check out these videos from groups across the world that are here to keep you relaxed and knowing you are not alone.
Sunday is often considered a day of rest and relaxation, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take some time to move our bodies. The videos below offer gentle options for stretching, yoga that does not include anything on the floor and resources for learning how to do yoga for yourself safely.
YMCA AT HOME: FREE PROGRAMS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!
At the YMCA, we are committed to supporting you and your family’s health and wellness. YMCA at Home is our new virtual platform that provides you with the ability to connect with your favourite YMCA programs anytime, anywhere! New videos will continue to be added!VISIT YMCA AT HOME
YThrive Home will help you get your daily dose of YMCA fitness and community with amazing workouts! Workouts are designed for almost any fitness level and can be done from your living room for FREE.
For Older Adults we suggest these Y Thrive Videos:
- NEW FLOW yoga videos for every level
- GOLD videos are low impact workouts for people with reduced mobility
- BEGIN videos are centered around functional movements with lower impact
YWell will bring you strength in spirit, mind and body at home! Activities are designed for a variety of levels and can be done from the comfort of your home for FREE.
YPlay will help you build strong kids and a strong family at home! Activities are designed for a variety of ages and levels of ability and can be done from your family room for FREE.
Here at the Y, through Healthy Living programs, we assist members living with varying chronic health conditions to become stronger physically, cared for emotionally and build up a social support network to embrace a more self-satisfying active lifestyle. We know that during this time of uncertainty, where the need for self-isolation is more important then ever to keep you healthy, we want to help you in any way that we can.
Weekly, our Healthy Living team will be posting a variety of learning materials, brain fitness challenges and a weekly workout for you to try out. Keep your eyes on the prize – stay active and stay healthy!
- Breathe Fit
Breathe fit works to provide a safe environment for members living with COPD, chronic asthma, post-cardiac rehab, and more to come together and improve their bodies ability to work in movement through functional exercises to make everyday life that much easier.
In partnership with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, we work hard to complete ongoing training and ensure to meet all levels of care for individuals living with respiratory and/or cardiac health conditions through our “Heart Wise” inclusion programs such as Stretch Fit & more. This institute provides a wide variety of literature and resources for individuals.
- R.E.C. Fit
R.E.C fit is a program devoted to working with cancer survivors on land in a highly supportive group environment. Our R.E.C fit members pride themselves on improving their active lifestyle pre-post treatment and supporting fellow members through it all!
Staying up to date on what you need to know if you or a loved one are having ongoing treatment are crucial. BC Cancer society has provided a FAQs page to help answer these concerns for you.
- Fit For Bones
Fit for Bones is a program where individuals living with Osteoporosis/Osteopenia, Osteoarthritis and/or sedentary lifestyle in need of improving their muscle strength, ability to balance, build core strength and prevent falls.
Osteoporosis Canada offers many online resources around simple recipes for better bones, exercises for healthier bones, programs and literature research to keep you up to date.
- Renew Fit
Renew Fit is a program dedicated to working with individuals living with Diabetes, high blood pressure and/or overweight/obese. In collaboration with the Heart & Stroke Society and Revive Medicine Vancouver Island, we offer a physical and social support program for these individuals to improve their self-esteem and enhance their health.
The Y is proud to be in collaboration with the Heart and Stroke society of Canada, where they are able to provide further assistance to members in need. Including programs such as Activate, a program here for people living with pre-hypertension and in need of a health change.
- Neuro Fit
Neuro Fit is a program devoted to helping members living with MS and/or recovering after a stroke/TA and in need of improving their physical lifestyle. Our programs work hand in hand with the MS Society and Stroke Recovery to provide a safe place for individuals to come and be active together!
You are always welcome to complete the workout listed below or contact us for a virtual class instead.
The MS Society is here to help those living with MS get through this growing pandemic
and your MS research needs. Here you will find further information regarding you and this virus, as well as research materials that can enhance your knowledge of how to improve/maintain your health through an active lifestyle.
- Choose To Move
Choose to Move is a 3-month science-based approach to helping Older Adults (65yrs+) introduce the habit of physical activity into their daily life in ways that will make sense to their lifestyle needs.
Now, we do not want any Older Adult to be without the resources/at home tools they need to start moving on their own. Choose to Move has provided some great at home resources for you to utilize:
We will also be offering Choose to Move at Home! With this program we will be offering a summer program available to past participants only. In this program you will have the opportunity to work with our Activity Coach through active lifestyle planning with the growing changes, virtual group meetings and ongoing check ins as needed! If you are interested we look forward to hearing from you.
Contact Jasmine to put your name on a waitlist for September and/or join or summer session: email@example.com
Choose to Move has provided some great at home resources for you to utilize:
Weekly Healthy Living Workouts
Not sure which one is right for you… click on the “+” above and review the programs.